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The Kremlin has been forced to deny President Vladimir Putin hides in nuclear bunkers and uses body doubles.
Speculation about the autocrat's health has been rife for some time, however a spokesperson has now claimed that the 70-year-old is fighting fit.
Senior Kremlin official Dmitry Peskov took to public airways to dispel any kind of rumours about the health of the dictator – who has been seen holding onto desks, walking uneasily and experiencing a puffy face, among other things.
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The statement was made to children and teenagers at an education event, however it was also broadcast on state TV.
Admitting the existence of rumours about body doubles, he was quick to push back.
Peskov, who has worked as a spokesperson for the Kremlin for a long time, said: “Perhaps you had heard that Putin has multiple doubles, who work instead of him while he is sitting inside a bunker.
“This is yet more lies. This is one more lie.
“You see our president. He is just as he used to be – mega-active.”
He added: “Those who work next to him struggle to keep up. One might only feel envious about his level of energy.
“His health – you can only wish it for yourself.
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“Of course, he never sat in any bunker – this is lies, too. And you see it, this is obvious.”
Speculation about doubles has been nonstop in recent months, with political analyst Valery Solovey among the chorus of voices saying there is more than one Putin.
Speaking to Arseny Vesnin on the Russian YouTube channel Ischem vykhod, Solovey said: “It was his double. Everyone knows this.”
Putin recently appeared in Kherson, however, criticism has been levelled against him that it was staged.
He claimed it was so inauthentic that Wagner private army founder Yevgeny Prizoghin refused to take part.
He said: “He simply knew that this was not the president.
“When such things happen, nothing remains of reputation, of political weight.”
Ukraine has also made claims about the use of doubles.
Ukrainian intelligence chief General Kyrylo Budanov said: “We know specifically about three people who keep appearing, but how many there are, we don’t know,” he said.
“They all had plastic surgery to look alike.”
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- Vladimir Putin
- Plastic Surgery
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